Some people say that getting from Budapest Airport to the city centre is getting easier and easier, but I strongly disagree after the Hungarian government prohibited the usage of Uber. Exactly one year ago when I arrived to BUD airport I faced this unbelievable reality opening my Uber app at arrivals. So things are not that smooth now: you can reach the city by bus, more or less by bus + train or bus + metro, private transfers and taxis. Lets see all the ways of getting to downtown below.
Getting from Budapest Airport by bus
The most popular budget option. There are two main bus lines operating at the airport – 100E and 200E. The first one is a direct line which takes you to the city centre (Deak Ferenc Ter), from there you can easily continue by metro (if needed). The second line is more problematic – it takes you to Kőbánya-Kispest metro station, that’s the final station of line M3, so there you have to continue to the city by metro.
- Getting to Budapest by bus 100E – only 4 stations and you are in the centre. The ticket is 900 HUF (3 EUR), you can buy the tickets at the machine at the bus stop (which is just outside of arrivals) with cash or card, you should show it to the bus driver while entering and validate in the machine within the bus. Check out the 100E timetable here
- Getting from Budapest airport by bus 200E – three times cheaper and three times longer. The ticket is 300 HUF (1 EUR), as mentioned above it will take you to a metro station and then you’ll get to continue on your own. The stops are below, the schedule can be found here
Getting from Budapest Airport by train
Since there is no train station directly at the airport, although it’s not that far away and can be reached by bus 200E (see Ferihegy vasútállomás stop), I would recommend using this option only if you need to reach specifically the Budapest Railway Station to continue elsewhere in the country/or outside the country, by train. But lets see the route draft in this case:
- you take bus 200E to Ferihegy vasútállomás railway stop – it takes around 8 min
- you take any regular or Intercity train towards Nyugati Pályaudvar (they are more than frequent), before getting on buy a train ticket at a machine at the stop – the train will take around 20 min, the ticket price depends on the train type (standard around 370 HUF, intercity will require a seat supplement)
Getting to Budapest by private airport transfer or taxi
Taxi is of course the most comfortable and fast (in case no extreme traffic) way to reach Budepest, however, the government ensured that it’s a monopoly business, thus only one taxi company is allowed to pick up passengers in the airport. You can get a taxi by requesting one at the Taxi Kiosk, just exiting arrivals, on the left. The price is 20-30 EUR if you are targeting a location within the city centre, it can be paid by cash (HUF or EUR, but their exchange rate won’t please you), or card (but sometimes the cab drivers don’t have their POS ‘charged’). This monopoly stresses me a lot, to be very straightforward with you.
On the other hand, you can get an ‘illegal’ taxi – at arrivals many whispering men will surround you offering cheap taxi. Well, would never tried that, I’m sure the price will be higher, they’ll make you walk with your suitcase until their car (which can’t be on the territory of the airport), and in case anything happens you won’t really have a chance to complain to Hungarian authorities, won’t have a receipt, or any other proof.
In my trip to Budapest I used the official taxi service – a good solution when you need it fast and directly to your accommodation.
Talking about private transfers from BUD airport to Budapest. There are a few companies offering this service:
- Flibco.com – a one-way transfer will cost 9 EUR, you make the reservation online. They cover the main public transport stops in downtown, so you can easily reach Nyugati or Keleti railway stations, Deák Ferenc Tér or so.
- MiniBUD – covers most of Budapest’s hotels (check them out in the list on their front page), the cost depends on the hotel location, I entered one in the centre and it showed me 17,5 EUR/one-way
- WizzAir the Hungarian low-cost offers transfers to the city as well. You can book their transfer service in case you arrived by a WizzAir flight. Their price Their timetable is here